It was straight forward, on point, effective, and most of all … brief.
A few minutes before the annual city inaugural ceremony began last night in the Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall, I whispered to Mayor Ted Bettencourt, in good-natured fashion, “Please, no two-hour speeches tonight.”
His response? “Don’t worry, I’ll get everyone out of here in time for kickoff,” said the Mayor while smiling, and referring to the other big event of the night, the college football national championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
And, yes, we did indeed make it in time for kickoff over at the AOH.
In this case, “brevity” was perfect. During his “state of the city” address, Mayor Ted talked about his mid-term accomplishments, which included reaching a compromise with the city’s unions on healthcare to save taxpayers millions, approval of plans and financing on a much-needed new middle school, and the steps he’s taken toward business development in an effort to get more revenue by expanding the commercial tax base. He left us with positive messages like this, and then brought his address to a close in less than 20 minutes:
“I expect the upcoming years in Peabody to be a time of evolution, a time of revitalization, a time of challenge and a time to better position Peabody for long-term prosperity,” Bettencourt said.
Mission accomplished … for now. More to come in the Mayor Ted Bettencourt story.
There are more details from what the Mayor said in a nice wrap up by John Castelluccio in the Peabody Patch.
Other observations around the Wiggin last night
Councilor At-Large Tom Gould’s middle name is Lloyd? Who knew? Maybe not many until his fellow councilor’s voiced their vote for “Thomas Lloyd Gould” when it came time to select the new Peabody City Council President. As is customary, Gould, became the unanimous pick for president, and then also gave an effective, yet brief address … Councilor At-Large Mike Garabedian drew seat No. 1, meaning, as some wise guy quipped, he’ll be under the gun and really have to pay attention! …
There was a whole lot of politicking going on, which became a clear indicator that the race is on to fill Peabody’s vacant stat rep seat. Announced candidates Beverley Dunne (school committee member) and Dave Gravel (Councilor At-Large) were there as part of their duties as elected officials, but clearly each was doing whatever they needed to “work the room” of mainly Peabody insiders, many of whom could be influential this spring. Announced state rep candidate and former Ward 3 Councilor Jim Moutsoulas was also there schmoozing. … Other elected officials there last night included newly elected Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff, and newly elected State Senator Joan Lovely. …
Outstanding job last night by the Peabody High chorale and concert band. The very talented kids in the chorus sang a stirring rendition of the National Anthem … Hats off to the Mayor last night for acknowledging the contributions of former State Rep Joyce Spilliotis-Jarvis, who passed away late last year. Bettencourt also recognized her husband, and my friend, Dick Jarvis, who watched the ceremony from the balcony.